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Departmental Billing

Volume 505: debated on Friday 5 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to pay invoices from (i) small and medium-sized enterprises and (ii) all creditors in the last 12 months. (315132)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced in October 2008 that all central Government Departments would aim to pay invoices within 10 days.

In December 2009, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and FCO Services (its Trading Fund) together paid 97.5 per cent. of invoices within 10 days. This performance is an increase of 27.2 per cent. points compared to November 2008, when 70.3 per cent. of invoices were paid within 10 days.

We do not differentiate payments by supplier size as we have determined to pay all suppliers within 10 days.

This response relates to the FCO in the UK. Information regarding the status of suppliers overseas is not available without incurring disproportionate costs.